Despite the Boo Birds, Rory MacDonald Proved He Is a Legit Contender

Brian OswaldMMA Editor July 29, 2013

Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA;  Rory MacDonald (red tape) lands a kick to the head of Jake Ellenberger (blue tape) during their welterweight bout at Key Arena. McDonald won by a decision. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

"Who sh*t in your cereal?" is a question Rory MacDonald could be asking the entire MMA world following his win over Jake Ellenberger in the co-main event on UFC on Fox 8. And they would respond in kind with a resounding, "You did, you talented Canadian psycho, you."

MacDonald seems to have borne the brunt for his fight with Ellenberger being thought of as "worse than watching paint dry" in the minds of most MMA fans who bore (see what I did there) witness. 

Even Dana White had some words for him during his post-fight media scrum:

Ellenberger did nothing. Ellenberger did nothing and he's told you, you don't belong in the top 10. (MacDonald) went out and bullied BJ (Penn) because he knew he could. He didn't try to bully Ellenberger. Don't come in and say 'oh my fight was great, it was technical and this and that and I belong in the top 10,' and talk all this s*** and don't go in there and try to perform. "I don't think he did anything. He threw a few jabs and some front kicks.

Tonight was a night, an important night, that everybody was excited for. Yes, I understand sometimes you know you're fighting somebody dangerous, but f***ing Ellenberger just sat there. Ellenberger sat two feet away from me and said 'that wasn't me tonight, I wasn't myself.' So if you're Rory and you're that f***ing good and you're that talented, then you impose your will on him and you show the rest of the world not only do I belong in the top five, I should be fighting Georges St-Pierre.

He did finish his rant by saying something good about the young lad. "Rory's one of the best in the world. He didn't look it tonight."

That MacDonald could so easily dispatch of a fighter as good as Jake Ellenberger, with a few jabs and front kicks, has to say something about just how good he is and could be. Ellenberger was lost in the woods. MacDonald was a whole lot of trees (and jabs).

Bleacher Report MMA Analyst Jack Slack pointed out some of the holes in the Canadian's game—things he needs to work on, no doubt. But given that he just turned 24, he has all the time in the world to perfect his game to the level of GSP and perhaps beyond.

For his part, MacDonald said in his post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani that he looked to finish but wanted to avoid "amateur mistakes." He wasn't looking to "stick his neck out there against a dangerous fighter, sometimes it just doesn't happen."

So perhaps we should leave it at that. MacDonald is a straight shooter, and Ellenberger is a dangerous foe. The Canadian wanted to continue his evolution without the back of his head hitting the canvas.

For my money, I tend to think he may have been using Ellenberger to work on his jab, which, as Jack Slack pointed out, needs work. He gave his trainers some nice and easy footage to analyze. Also, it was a nice display of not engaging and counterfighting.

Conspiracy theory aside, MacDonald told Helwani that he wanted to fight again by "year's end." The obvious fight to make would be a rematch with Carlos Condit, assuming he gets past Martin Kampmann in their own rematch. That fight headlines the second offering from Fox Sports 1, which goes down at the end of August.

So in theory MacDonald vs. Condit 2 could well happen by the end of 2013. Figuring out where to stick it is another matter, as the fight schedule is already filled to the brim. It would best be a fight that was saved for early 2014, possibly on the Super Bowl fight card in February.

And if MacDonald were to beat Condit in the rematch, he would have no where to go but straight into a title fight with Georges St-Pierre...assuming the champ successfully defends his belt against Johnny Hendricks. If Hendricks wins, then it blows everything wide open. 

A fight with his friend and mentor St-Pierre is a fight that MacDonald has repeatedly refused. Dana White begs to differ, saying the following in the post-fight media scrum:

That kid's in a tough enough position as it is—he lives in Georges St-Pierre's house, he trains in Georges St-Pierre's hometown, and everything's Georges St-Pierre this and Georges St-Pierre that, and the kid has to walk around and say he doesn’t want to fight Georges St-Pierre.

We all f***ing know he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre, but why would he go out beating his chest that he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre when that fight isn't even close to happening yet.

Only time will tell if MacDonald pulls a "Jon Jones" and decides he does want to fight GSP. If he refuses the fight, he can always move up to middleweight.

The one thing we do know for sure is that MacDonald is a legitimate contender, whether or not people were bored by his jabbing performance on Saturday night.